"So what did you do this time" Jeremy asked as he escorted Lisa.
"I'm guessing, its cause of my screaming"
"well, you could always tell him you were practicing for a banshee audition"
"Ha ha, real funny Jeremy" Lisa said rubbing her wrist.
Her mind searched for her latest offenses. It dwelled on her confrontation with Angela and crew in the earlier hours of the day. A few minutes of contemplation and she was cast in the bin where she thought Angela belonged.
"well, here we are." Jeremy said, jerking her from her train of thoughts.
"wish me luck."
"luck is for criminals. You'll be fine, if you did nothing wrong... on second note, Good luck."
Inside the principal's office, Lisa sat beside her mom. Her mind searched frantically for an explanation. She had given the table a once over and found no clue to untie the knot in her stomach. Her mother's expression did nothing to help the matter. Her hair rumpled, eyes red, and Lisa could make out tear streaks on her cheeks.
"Mom is everything okay?"
"Yh...yh sweetie" her mom sobbed wiping her eyes.
Her voice sounded disconcerted and shaky. That also had no help in relaxing Lisa's nerves.
"Morning miss Lisa. I trust you are having a good day."
Lisa had been so concerned with her mother's demeanour, she had ignored the bald black man that sat in front of her the entire time. She took a look round the room. behind her stood the sheriff staring out the window, undoubtedly at his car.
"yes. Oh yes, my first day was fine." She took another glance at her mom. This time she was sure she was hiding tears.
"look principal Jacob. If it's about the screaming, I'm sorry. I... I had a nightmare and – "
"-your dads dead honey." Sheriff carl muttered from the window.
"sorry what!" she yelled. Her mouth hung as she searched her crying mother for any signs of lies. "what kind of sick joke is this!" she yelled shooting to her feet.
"calm down missy" sheriff carl said still staring out the window. "your old man kicked the bucket. Wouldn't be the first man, wouldn't be last" he said itching his beard.
Lisa stared at the sheriff. Her throat began to tighten, but also threaten to pour out the content of her stomach. She turned to principal hoping to hear him say "we are joking; you are here for the screaming incident". But alas he said nothing. He just stared at her, like how one does to a struggling animal. Tears perched at the corner of his eyes and his mouth arched in sorrow.
She fell back to her seat. At first taking in the news like it was some new night terror her brain her concocted. Another glance at her mom and she knew she wasn't dreaming. She had just woken up and she would know if she was dreaming, she was in control of herself after all.
Tears now streamed down her face, unknowing to her. Her mind casted back to the night before soaking in the smile on his face. Like a wave it receded into blankness, then rushed back to her earliest memories of him. The memories of him stealing her ice-cream, memories of the funeral of Mr Jacob Jeremy Matthews.
Lumps formed in her throat making it had for her to speak clearly. "how... how did he die?" she barely said.
"honey that's not necessary" Mrs hart said pulling Lisa to herself. Warm tears trickled unto her face from her mom's chin.
Officer carl made to talk but was shut down by a glare from her mom. He scuffed and walked out of the room.
The rest of the conversation whisked past her ears as she laid in her mother's embrace. Memories of her dad washing in like the waves of an ocean. Each memory widened the hole in heart. An hour past by and all she did was sob quietly in her mom's arms listening to her mom's heartbeat, to her it sounded unnatural. And she feared she would soon lose her to a heart disease.
Her mental hall of memories came crashing down when her mom stood up and announced they would be heading home. A home without a father. She bided the principal her goodbyes and walked out with her mom, her head hung in tear much like her heart.
"I think its blind"
"And how would that concern me"
"well I thought we could help it."
"oh my god carl! You brought me into the woods just to show me a blind bird"
"I just thought we could help her Anderson"
"no we can't; we aren't vets," Anderson said as he stormed off into the forest.
Carl stared at him ankle deep in fallen leaves. In his hand was a little blue bird no bigger than one of his palms. He stood watching Andersons shape disappear into the woods.
With a sigh carl put aside his memory along with the picture of Anderson which he kept a compartment in his car,
He had been driving down the same road for hours; although to him it felt like minutes. Driving was his escape from problems, it was his way to clear his mind. Heaven knows he needed a clear mind; with four deaths in one week, he had his job cut out for him.
Middletin was never that kind of town. At least his been here all his life and he was sure it wasn't that kind of town. There was the occasional carjacking and small shop robberies, but definitely not murders. But now he had 4 in one week. Yes, granted the culprit of the first incident had been apprehended and the second case had been a suicide, he couldn't shake off the uncertainty that sat in the knot in his belly.
"isn't it time to retire" he wondered as he drove down a road that cut right through a forest, he eased into the brakes as soon as he realised he was on his favourite road. Driving in silence, he watched as tree after tree zoomed in and out of his sight.
"carl, I'm sure Christine is cheating on me"
"ha! you're to paranoid Andy."
"no I'm not and I'll prove it'; and when I do. They will all pay."
Once again carl forced down his memory, trying hard to enjoy the view and the light from the setting sun. a few beep from the alarm and he knew it was time to get home. A voice in his mind reminded him of Anderson's laugh at his self-imposed curfew. He sighed and increased his speed.
"Would you like some ice-cream?"
Lisa kept muted, staring out the window at the park. They had passed it 5 times now, each time her mom asked if she would like some ice-cream.
"why are we driving in circles?" Lisa whispered.
Her mom kept mute and took a left turn heading to her house.
The drive went on for an hour. The sun had set and twilight was upon them. The park had been leagues away from her house, but she knew her mom needed it. Hell she needed it. Above her the clouds threatened another downpour; the second in two days. "it's bout to rain" she muttered.
Her mom handed her an umbrella that sat on the passenger's seat. Whispering a "thanks", she took it and placed it beside her. It had begun to drizzle and she found something to distract her. She watched the rain drops race on the window and occasionally stared at her breath cloud over the window.
Darkness had descended completely and her mum had put on the car light. "home isn't far" her mom said her voice no better than it was in the principal's office. Lisa kept mute and continued to stare at her reflection. She began counting the similarities between her and her dad. She had his blue eyes, and as far as she knew the same shade of hair; he was bald but his mum said he had a beautiful set of jet black hair. In her mind she could hear his laugh ring; the same laughter Jeremy wouldn't stop comparing to hers.
She gave a sigh and watched the fog form on the window. She had been crying so long she was sure she would soon cry blood. The lump in her throat still sat there partnering with the knot in her stomach that stole her appetite.
Goosebumps sprouted from her hands, this time not from the pain. This time because of the sudden cold that overwhelmed the car. In a matter of seconds, it had gone from mildly warm to so cold, she could see her breath. "mom please turn on the heater" she said. No reply came and the cold persisted.
A shrill laugh ran through the car as the windows froze over all except hers. Her knot had tightened and her deflated heart now pumped with everything it had. All around her she could feel it. The insane feeling that made you afraid of the dark. The feeling of a thousand hands watching you. The same feeling that makes you feel like the creatures from the caverns of hell have sat around you watching, as hunters watch the prey of the night.
She made to scream but her own throat swallowed her voice. Her eyes shot from corner to corner praying to notice nothing but the darkness. They finally fell upon her window. Outside sat a woman dressed in a white shrivelled gown. She sat under a tree, tears running down her face which was paler than the dress she wore. In the distance stood a horse on the grass fields. On it sat a man. Maybe it was the fear or maybe it was the moonlight that stood as the sole source of light. But Lisa could swear he held his head in his hands.
The pale woman looked up at Lisa. Her faced arched in sorrow as screamed. Her scream so loud; the glasses of the windows cracked. Pain shot through Lisa's ear. Pain not from the woman scream but from the amount of pain they conveyed. Warm trails of blood lined her ears to her neck. Summoning courage, she looked up and watched the woman stop shouting and smile. She began to float, each hair on her head spreading in a different direction.
Lisa screamed and pushed at the door, but to no avail. She stared with watery eyes, her heartbeat in the background as the woman pointed at her. The horse rider in the distance came charging at her wiping the air with a white whip, which bared resemblance to neatly sewn bones.
Lisa screamed and pushed at the door furiously, before stopping.
A hand had gripped her from behind..